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I’m beginning to appreciate everything more now.

ANOTHER dear friend of mine passed away last week.  Mary Smith.

I wish I had a photo of us together.  I am always the one TAKING the photos of people I love, animals I love, places I love.

Up until she passed away, she  pushed me to “go for it” when we talked about plans and wishes and dreams.  She encouraged me with ideas and ways to make it happen.  Every time I saw her she had a boot camp exercise idea – and they sounded like fun and tough.

Our last lunch together we talked about camping and adventuring out on the mountains.  My husband is an Ultra Runner which means he runs all night and has been through some fun adventures I SORT OF want to experience too.

Mary, Dan and I loved listening to Randy tell us his ultra running stories.  Mary told us about some of her fun times too.

She treated us like her own family asking questions that dug deep and were personal.

Because of that, and the fact that we’ve been friends for over 10 years now, I decided to ask her a pointy question.  “Why don’t you and Dan leave this home (Assisted Living Facility) and travel the world?”

I saw her brows drop for a moment then she took a very deep breath and hugged her cereal-box sized black “portable oxygen concentrator” machine closer to her chest.  It looked like it hurt to just breath.  She winced as she exhaled and said louder than I’ve heard her speak, “I can’t see the stars anymore.”

“What?  What do you mean?” I asked.  I was sitting right next to her and felt her annoyed frustration.

“My eyes. My vision.  I can’t see much anymore at night.  My eyes are failing.”

This sunk in as I mentally faded out of the conversation imagining what she said. The three of them kept talking but I have no idea what about.  I was lost in my own thoughts with my life being close to over and not having seen the Aurora Borealis or Niagra Falls.

I checked back in when the Chef began shouting out what the Special Of The Day would be from the center of the dining hall we were in.

Tables of 4 and 8 filled this giant room we were in.  Each table had at least 2 elderly people propped up (mostly) to eat.  Not much conversation was happening outside of the tables where families had come to visit.  Those tables also included the squeal of toddlers and babies bored or hungry while grandma or grandpa fawned over them.

Carts of jello in single-serving glass dishes and carrot cake rolled by, the Attendant smiling anticipating choices.  Mary said they already know exactly what she and Dan would want so they didn’t have to order.  She was pretty stoked about that.  They’d only been in this place a few weeks so I was happy to hear they were getting treated especially nice.

I felt like I was in a chapter of Alice In Wonderland.

Without realizing it Mary’s comment woke me up from a fog.

I still don’t know what my “Dreams” are but I will decided right there I’d appreciate MORE what I have and try to figure my dreams out.  I’m pretty sure they have animals and the planet in them.  I need and WANT to dream outside of my box!  To be inspired to LIVE before my final day on this beautiful blue and green marble we call Earth.

If you have your mom around still, I’d recommend you find out what she would love to experience and help her do it.   I wish I could have done more for my mom.

I have met more people in the last 12 years of my life than the prior 47.  They have influenced me in many different deep ways.  They’ve shown me what life is like outside of my own, and I have more gratitude for what I have (and do not have) because of it.

This video below was very inspirational to me.

I hope you watch it all the way through and get LIVING.

Rest In Peace Mary Smith.

You have changed my life for the better.  Every moment I spent with you was incredible.   I don’t know what happens when we die but I hope to see you and laugh with you again long from now.   I’m going to figure out this LIVE thing as quick as I can.

 

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